Archive | Offshore

Deliverance is Obvious A Good Day

Posted on 25 February 2015 by Reporter

[Source: Barcelona World Race] The deliverance from the Pacific will have been notable for Cheminées Poujoulat. After passing Cape Horn at 0100hrs this Thursday morning in 20-25kts of WSW’ly winds, passing 14 miles south of the rock, Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam have accelerated into much flatter waters. Now they enjoy the twin benefits of the wind veered more to the west and the protection of Tierra del Fuego which has reduced the swell completely. And so as the Barcelona World Race leaders make towards the Straits de Lemaire which they should pass around 0900hrs UTC they are making 18kts in smooth seas. Today should feel like a good day, as they sprint north, set to pass west of the Falklands tonight.

Neutrogena and GAES Centros Auditivos are now separated by about 60 miles straight line, Anna Corbella and Gerard Marín now to the south and going slower, 7.5kts compared with Guillermo Altadill and Jose Munoz’s 9.5 kts. And the delta between the two is set to grow significantly, and shrink again. First Neutrogena seem set to have a big advantga in wind strength and direction 25-30kts this morning for Altadill and Munoz while GAES will only have it moderate, then Neutrogena will have it calmer. They are still expected to rach Cape Horn Saturday with Altadill and Munoz about 10-12 hours ahead.

We Are Water and One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton are still locked into the high pressure…..the one and only, self same high pressure system they have had for some days now. The breeze is 15-20kts from the W for We Are Water, hence they continue to gybe downwind, while One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton have NW’ly and so just follow the AEZ, more or less straight line other than one gybe. The big change is that One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton are going to get headwinds.

And that is the case especially for Renault Captur which has it good today but will soon start to get headwinds as the low pressure moves south and will be sailing in headwinds until Friday evening, according to current meteo files.

And Spirit of Hungary are docked in Bluff, South Island NZ, starting their pitstop at 2250hrs UTC last night

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Work has begun on StMichel-Virbac

Posted on 25 February 2015 by Reporter

[Source: Vendee Globe] Jean-Pierre Dick’s fourth attempt at the Vendée Globe is becoming reality now with the launch of the construction of the hull and deck of his new IMOCA monohull, StMichel-Virbac, a VPLP-Verdier designed boat which is due to be launched in September.

“We’re not putting in the foundations, but rather the first layer of carbon, which is always a key moment for the team, as we are starting to see everything become reality.” It is at the Multiplast yard in Vannes that StMichel-Virbac, the 60-foot IMOCA aboard which Jean-Pierre Dick will set sail from Les Sables d’Olonne on 6th November 2016, is taking shape. “The construction of the deck and hull has begun at the same time,” explained the Nice-based skipper. “Meanwhile, the yard is also designing the bulkheads and my team is working on a lot of carbon parts. Then, it will be time to assemble her, to close the box, if you like. StMichel-Virbac will then be fitted out with all her electrical elements, deck hardware, electronics, etc. Finally, the boat will be decorated in the colours of StMichel-Virbac and all my partners.” With her launch scheduled late in the season, on paper in September, the timing is going to be tight to prepare for the Transat Jacques Vabre, which starts in Le Havre on 25th October. But that doesn’t worry Jean-Pierre, who is monitoring the construction of his fourth IMOCA. His experience will no doubt allow him to save some precious time.

“Entering a new era”
It is no big surprise that StMichel-Virbac will be fitted with foils, instead of the straight daggerboards that we can see on the current fleet of IMOCA boats. Jean-Pierre Dick added, “This construction is all the more fascinating as we are entering a new era with boats that fly. The arrival of foils offers a huge theoretical gain in speed for the boat when she is is in the points of sail that are most common in the Vendée Globe, reaching and downwind sailing. We should shave two days off the time to sail around the world, which seems incredible, doesn’t it?”

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Canada to return to the Vendée Globe in 2016?

Posted on 18 February 2015 by Reporter

[Source: Vendee Globe] Recently named “Rolex Sailor of the Year” in Canada, the Canadian skipper Eric Holden has launched the “Canadian Ocean Racing” project with the aim of competing in the 2016 Vendée Globe. If he completes the voyage, he will become the first Canadian to do so in the Vendée Globe. Eric Holden intends to take part in the Everest of the seas aboard the 60-foot “Spirit of Canada”, aboard which his fellow Canadian Derek Hatfield lined up in 2008. He tells us more.

You recently announced your intention of taking part in the 2016 Vendée Globe. Can you tell us more about your project?

Canadian Ocean Racing launches on the heels of a very successful, but different, round the world race. From 2013-2014, I skippered one of 12 boats on the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, sailing over 40,000 miles in 11-months. This race gave amateur sailors a unique opportunity to experience offshore sailing and some to even circumnavigate the globe. As the first Canadian Skipper of the Race and the winner, I wanted to share my journey with fellow Canadians and inspire them to dream big about offshore sailing. I pursued an opportunity to secure the use of O Canada, ex-Spirit of Canada (Owen Clarke 2006), through the support of Wind Athletes Canada for this program.

While the establishment of this project will ultimately support me in my campaign for the Vendée Globe, Canadian Ocean Racing is much more than just that. I founded this program to promote the sport of offshore racing in Canada and offer the opportunity, access and mentorship to aspiring Canadian sailors. During our Launch Tour this Spring, we will be taking on a small group of young Canadian talent for a training journey from West to East Coast Canada. Eager sailors are also being provided the opportunity to work as part of our shore support team in preparation for races. I want to make offshore racing more accessible to my fellow Canadians, so we are building this program on the generous support of private donors and corporate partners.

Have you already found any partners? What sort of partnership are you looking for?

Canadian Ocean Racing is working with partners that share our mission: bringing Canada to the forefront of offshore racing. Our launch partners include Wind Athletes Canada and Sail Canada, who work with us on securing donations and building support for our program. We are currently in talks with potential corporate partners who are interested in aligning themselves with Canada’s premier offshore racing team for branding, events and content marketing. There is still an opportunity for title sponsors to partner with Canadian Ocean Racing, we are open to new ideas and relationships that can help us build this program.

Have you had any experience of sailing on a 60-foot IMOCA before?

Apart from working in the shore team of Spirit of Canada during her launch, this will be my first Open 60 program. I have sailed on a series of high performance boats in offshore races, and have already successfully completed one circumnavigation with Clipper on their 70ft one-design fleet.

What is your training schedule and which races do you intend to compete in?

Our training schedule will begin immediately once we launch O Canada out of Vancouver this Spring. The Launch Tour around North America will serve as Phase One of training, which will conclude with an appearance at the Toronto Pan Am games. This will provide us with 10,000 miles of experience on the boat before our first race. Phase Two of training will include a Transatlantic passage in late Summer 2015, to begin preparations for the Transat Jacques Vabre. We are currently intending to compete in both the Transat Jacques Vabre and BtoB races at the end of this year. It is likely that we will compete in the other IMOCA Ocean Masters races in the first half of 2016. The rest of the year will be dedicated to solo training for the Vendee Globe. My intention is to get as much exposure and competitive opportunity in preparation for the Vendee Globe in November 2016.

What image do Canadians have of the Vendée Globe?

Canada has had two previous entrants in the Vendee Globe, first with the tragic loss of Gerry Roufs in 1997, and Derek Hatfield’s retirement in 2008. There is a sense of unfinished business with this race and Canada is eager to have its first success.

Will you be getting any advice from Derek Hatfield about the boat and about the Vendée Globe?

Derek has been supportive of the launch of this new campaign and is happy that this Canadian built boat will have another opportunity to compete in the Vendee Globe.

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Renault Captur reroute to New Zealand for pitstop

Posted on 18 February 2015 by Reporter

[Source: Barcelona World Race] Renault Captur turn back to pitstop in New Zealand. Following damage to their starboard rudder which became obvious between Sunday 15th and Monday 16th February Jorg Riechers and Sébastien Audigane on Renault Captur have made the decision to reroute to New Zealand to undertake a technical pit stop to try and make a more effective repair.

The duo, racing in fourth place in the Barcelona World Race, were 585 miles SE of the southerly tip of South Island NZ at 0500hrs UTC.

They believe it will take them between two and three days, sailing in mainly favourable SW and S’ly breezes which look set to become lighter as they close to New Zealand, to reach a suitable landfall.

Riechers and Audigane have attempted two repairs to the rudder blade so far but the boat has proven uncontrollable at higher speeds. Further information will be issued shortly.

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Open Season For Second?

Posted on 15 February 2015 by Reporter

[Source: Barcelona World Race] With second placed Neutrogena still slowed in a high pressure zone of light winds since Guillermo Altadill and José Munoz restarted from their New Zealand pitstop, both GAES Centros Auditivos and Renault Captur having continued to slash their deficit behind Altadil and Munoz. Second place on the podium of the Barcelona World Race is opening up with each mile that the two chasing IMOCA 60s gain.

This Sunday afternoon the delta between Neutrogena and GAES Centros Auditivos is cut to a much more tenable 99 miles. Anna Corbella and Gerard Marín are still making a VMG – velocity made good – of 13.6kts while Altadill and Munoz are still battling south with a net VMG of 3.6kts, hardly making any easting at all meantime.

Forecasts indicate that Neutrogena are in the last hours of their light airs ordeal since leaving Bluff and imminently they will pick up a favourable NW to W 20-25kts breeze. One can fully comprehend why Altadill insisted he would not be tracking any of his rivals or checking their positions for the coming days, for sure he and Munoz are pushing their boat as fast as possible and additional stress, knowing how quickly they are being caught, would not add to their speed and drive.

The next key longitude for the trio which are now in the match for second is the antimeridian. A current routing for the trio given today’s weather outlook has Neutrogena cross just four hours before GAES Centros Auditivos, Anna Corbella and Gerard Marín passing into the ‘west’ some 100 miles further south.
Extending that routing to a point four days forwards shows Neutrogena just five hours ahead and Renault Captur, Jorg Riechers and Seb Audigane, 18 hours behind Neutrogena. The game is opened between the two Farr designs and the Finot Conq former BritAir which holds fourth.

Reichers said today: “I think now it is interesting because the race for second place is now a three boat race, unfortunately for Neutrogena. So we are looking forwards to a nice battle for second place to the end in Barcelona. But I think Guillermo has a fast boat. He should be able to hold on to second.”
” Our strategy? Well you can’t really do a strategy with the ice zone exclusion zone. It dictates what you can and cant do. It is a little bit like the outcome of the race is in the hands of Aeolus and Guillermo. In the Southern Ocean you cannot really go for a strategy, you see what is happening and take it as it comes.”

Sunday has been a bit of red letter day for Spirit of Hungary which has been reducing the lead of Cheminées Poujoulat. Nandor Fa and Conrad Colman have had the foot right down on Fa’s self-designed IMOCA 60 and were quickest of the fleet this morning, bringing their deficit down under the 4000 miles mark again. Such sma ll consolations are a good morale boost for the Hungarian-Kiwi duo who continue to show great fighting spirit.

Race leaders Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam are also about to get moving at speed again after more than two days slowed. Their VMG is 12.4 kts today while the best has been Renault Captur.
We Are Water have emerged from their worst period of stormy weather of the race so far. One Planet One Ocean have been in sunshine and 15-20kts breezes and were crossing Cape Leeuwin this afternoon or evening.

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Neutrogena pitstopped in Bluff NZ

Posted on 13 February 2015 by Reporter

[Source: Barcelona World Race] Neutrogena, Guillermo Altadill and José Munoz, pitstopped into Bluff – a port 30 kms by road from Invercarcgill – at 0522hrs UTC this Friday morning. The duo came in in 12kts of breeze and clock is now ticking to make sure they can resume racing at 0522hrs Saturday morning. The Neutrogena team had technicians on the dock ready to fix their engine problems and give the IMOCA 60 a good once over. They suspended racing just at the entrance to the harbour.

It is pretty much the southermost town in New Zealand, referred to in the expression “from Cape Reinga to The Bluff” referring to the most northerly and southerly places of New Zealand. Appropriately the first ship to enter the harbour there was the ‘Perseverance’ in 1813. It is one of the earliest European settlements in New Zealand and until 1917 was called Campbelltown.

Meantime race leaders Cheminées Poujoulat have slowed down now in lighter, shifty airs. They are between two low pressure systems now and are making just 10.5kts of boat speed. Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam will have a bit of a frustrating time with the breeze clocking round from NW to E to S, too unstable to enjoy much of a chance to rest after their exertions of the last few days.

In third GAES Centros Auditivos are going quick, fastest in the fleet at 16.8kts. They have opened another 20 miles on Renault Captur and Anna Corbella and Gerard Marín have less than 100 miles left to sail in the Indian Ocean, ready to pass into the Pacific this afternoon.

Renault Captur are riding the same low pressure system and are now about 300 miles behind their nearest rivals.

We Are Water, Bruno and Willy Garcia, crossed the longitude of Cape Leeuwin at 2201hrs UTC last night Thursday, taking 43 days 10hrs and 01mins from the Barcelona start on 31st December.

Best conditions of the fleet right now are probably with One Planet One Ocean and Spirit of Hungary. They have a low pressure to their south now. OnePlanet One Ocean have about 17kts of SW which will veer NW today and Aleix Gelabert and Didac Costa are making 15kts boat speed. Nandor Fa and Conrad Colman have 25kts NW’ly breeze and are making good speed E t 16.4kts average.

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Neutrogena head to South New Zealand for technical pit stop

Posted on 11 February 2015 by Reporter

[Source: Barcelona World Race] After suffering an engine problem which affects their ability to generate electrical power, Guillermo Altadill and Jose Munoz, who are racing in second place in the Barcelona World Race around the world, have taken the decision to reroute to the south of New Zealand to make a technical repair.

Altadill notified Race Direction at 0220hrs UTC this Wednesday morning of their decision, saying: “We have a problem in the main engine, and we cannot charge batteries, we are sailing to the South of NZ island to get spare parts and get back in the race again at 100%.”

The Spanish-Chilean duo altered course to the NE around 0300hrs UTC this morning and had 585 miles to sail to Invercargill in the south of New Zealand’s South Island. Altadill reckoned their ETA in Invercargill would be in about 40 hours. Neutrogena are sailing in about 25kts of NW’ly breeze which is due to increase to 30kts with big seas. They are in regular contact with their shore team in England and with Race Direction which are tracking their progress closely.

Race rules require that any technical pit stop is a minimum of 24 hours duration and maximum eight days. After more than 40 days racing this is the first technical pit stop of the eight boat IMOCA 60 fleet which started from Barcelona on 31st January 2014.

Speaking by satellite phone this morning, Guillermo Altadill, said: “The last few days the engine which turns the alternator to charge the batteries has not been working well. This morning we tried to charge the batteries with the engine and the system would not work.”

“We dont have the battery system charging at all and so just now we are using the hydro generators just to maintain the battery system and to make water and to keep the electronics on. The only problem now is that the conditions are getting worse and worse, with a big sea state, and more wind. So we cannot use the hydros. So we have to economise for the next 40 hours. We have to hand steer and not use the electronics. We have made enough water to get to the south of New Zealand. We are in contact with the shore team of 5 West in England. This morning they are meeting and probably will send a couple of guys and some people from NZ to come and help.”

“This happens in a marathon race like this one. It is part of the game, one of the things you have to face up to. We are disappointed because we were trying to fight all the time for the last 40 days, to be at the front. We were in a good position waiting for our options and now we have to lose quite a lot miles. But the race is still long. We go there, we keep things together and keep racing. Who knows? If it happens to us it can happen to others.”

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Primed Cheminees Poujoulat lead into Pacific

Posted on 10 February 2015 by Reporter

[Source: Barcelona World Race] Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam set the fastest 24 hours run of this edition of the Barcelona World Race so far making 478 miles to 1400hrs this Monday afternoon on Cheminées Poujoulat.

The Swiss-French duo should enter into the Pacific Ocean early tomorrow morning and hold a lead of 237 nm over second placed Neutrogena. The race’s only two paired skippers who are both aged over 50, racing at near 50 degrees south the vastly experienced pairing have been able to maintain high averages propelled by favourable conditions on the leading edge of a low pressure system. Cheminées Poujoulat have gained an extra 26 miles on their margin to Guillermo Altadill and Jose Munoz over that same period.

Their 24 hrs maximum for this edition of the Barcelona World Race still falls about 38 miles short of the 24 hours record for the race which was set on January 22nd 2011 by Jean-Pierre Dick and Loick Peyron. But for comparison their IMOCA 60 Virbac Paprec 3 was a brand new generation at the time, whilst the current Cheminées Poujoulat was launched in 2007 as Michel Desjoyeaux’s Vendée Globe winning Farr desig ned Foncia. Stamm has been quicker before, setting his own mark at 507 miles solo in the Vendée Globe in December 2012.

Stamm and Le Cam will pass into the Pacific in good shape. Last time they sailed this stretch of water they were fifth and sixth in the Vendée Globe, Stamm lead his current co-skipper by more than 700 miles.

Comparisons for this race with previous editions of the Barcelona World Race become more and more difficult in real terms now. In fact the real pace set by Stamm and Le Cam is close to that of the race leaders in 2010-2011 but recall that Dick and Peyron stopped into Recife for 48 hours. And now, from this point as they enter the Pacific, in previous editions the leaders would be starting an ascent north to pass through the Cook Straits between North and South Islands New Zealand. This is the first edition to pass directly south of New Zealand, trimming about 2000 miles off the original cour se distance. And of course Dick and Peyron also made a technical stop in New Zealand. So for sure, this race should be faster and it is already closer between first and second.

The intensity for the battle for third and fourth has also been raging harder these past 36 hours because of the tough, strong wind conditions which have been affecting GAES Centros Auditivos and Renault Captur. Fourth placed Renault Captur’s German co-skipper Jorg Riechers was succinct when asked today how conditions are:
“Windy” He replied.

And when posed the relatively standard off the shelf question by a young Spanish school pupil by satellite phone today, ‘what has been your worst moment of the race so far?’ Riechers responded that last night’s big gybe had been pretty hairy. In big seas and winds to 55kts, the southern ocean rookie was not sounding too enamoured with the the notoriously hostile region baring its teeth.

Standings at 1400hrs UTC Monday 9th February 2015.
1 Cheminées Poujoulat (B. Stamm – J. Le Cam) at 12.362,9 miles to finish.
2 Neutrogena (G. Altadill – J. Muñoz) + 236,8 miles to leader
3 GAES Centros Auditivos (A. Corbella – G. Marín) + 1.344,0 miles to leader
4 Renault Captur (J. Riechers – S. Audigane) + 1.592,0 miles to leader
5 We Are Water (B. Garcia – W. Garcia) + 2.181,5 miles to leader
6 One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton (A. Gelabert – D. Costa) + 3.190,6 miles to leader
7 Spirit of Hungary (N. Fa – C. Colman) + 3.719,9 miles to leader
ABD Hugo Boss (A. Thomson – P. Ribes)

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